Higher Dimensions

Reading from the studio, Jaques Ranciere, The Ignorant Schoolmaster led me to think about the difficulties that women faced to gain entry to further education in the past .Ranciere – The Ignorant Schoolmaster_ch_one

In the past, I studied and implemented the Montessori teaching method as an early childhood educator and a special needs assistant.

A site of ongoing interest for me in my studio practice has been the changing face of the former home of George Boole (1816-1864) the famous Logician and the first Professor of Mathematics in Queens College Cork (now UCC) at 5 Grenville Place.  Looking further into the Boole family history led me to discover his daughter Alicia Boole Stott (1860-1940), an Irish woman who made a significant contribution to the study of four-dimensional geometry without a University degree, as women could not apply for third level education at that time.

What particularly interested me was that she constructed three-dimensional sections of four-dimensional objects called polytopes and taught herself to “see” the fourth dimension, resulting in a series of Archimedean solids. This was a new method of visualising four-dimensional polytopes. A collection of her drawings was found as recently as 2001 in an old paper roll in the basement of the Mathematics, Astronomy and Physics Department of the University of Groningen.

POLO-BLANCO, I. Alicia Boole Stott, a geometer in higher dimension, ScienceDirect

Alicia was the only Boole sister to inherit her father’s mathematical talent, although her mother Mary Everest Boole had brought up all her five children from an early age to understand the flow of geometry by projecting shapes onto paper, hanging pendulums etc. She was first exposed to geometric models by her brother-in-law when she was just 18.

Boole Stotts first encounter with these models reminded me of my previous studies in Montessori Education; children are given geometric models and solid objects to touch and manipulate before moving on to writing or drawing geometric shapes. This is a classic example of the Montessori method of teaching from concrete to abstract.

Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian physician and educator who also faced challenges as a woman in the 1800’s. After initially being refused entry, Maria was eventually given entry to the University of Rome in 1890, becoming the first woman to enter medical school in Italy. Despite facing many obstacles due to her gender, Montessori qualified as a doctor in July of 1896. At the age of twenty-eight Montessori began advocating her controversial theory that the lack of support for mentally and developmentally disabled children was the cause of their delinquency. The notion of social reform became a strong theme throughout Maria’s life.

The Golden Beads, Montessori teaching apparatus

Alicia Boole Stott collaborated with the Groningen Professor of Geometry, Pieter Hendrik Schoute (1846-1913) for over twenty years and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Groningen in 1914.

‘It is clear that Boole Stott developed a mental capacity to understand the fourth dimension in a way that differed considerably from the analytic approach of other geometers of the time, in particular that of Schoute.’ Taken from: Alicia Boole Stott, a geometer in higher dimension

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Tatiana Trouve – Time, Space and Memory

The Paris-based artist Tatiana Trouvé tackles the uncertain boundaries of fiction and reality, the mental and the physical, and explores notions of time, space and memory. She produces sculptures, drawings, and installations, many of which incorporate architectural interventions. One of her most well known pieces is the expansive project titled Bureau d’Activités Implicites (or Bureau of Implicit Activities) that was produced over the course of ten years starting in 1997. This piece that took the form of an improvised office environment served as a repository and archive of work that she was making, or planning to make, as a then-unknown artist.

Trouvé has been constructing maquettes or doll houses which emerge from the universe of “implicit activities”, which comprise her series Polders. These maquettes take the form of deserted workplaces, recording studios or unoccupied desks. They represent that which has always been there, waiting to be recuperated or re-organised. Placed on the ground or fixed to the wall, these elements adapt themselves to the physical exhibition space, and at the same time they suggest the existence of a different space or environment. They can exist in the corner of a space, in the center of a space, or against a wall.

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Pieces of metal, stones, chairs, glass, water and earth, Tatiana Trouvé uses everyday materials to fashion surprising constructions that channel memories, history and poetry. Her installations do not contain direct symbolic allusions, but attract visitors to their concrete, physical presence, infused with spectres and imaginings.

Tatiana Trouvé (Cosenza, 1968) has exhibited in institutions like the Kunsthaus Graz, (2010), Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich (2009) and the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2008). She has taken part in the São Paulo Biennale (2010) and the Venice Biennale (2007). The Museion show is her first solo exhibition in an Italian museum.

Curated by Letizia Ragaglia.
The exhibition is in collaboration with Kunstmuseum Bonn (30.01. — 04.05.2014) and Kunsthalle Nürnberg (13.11.2014 — 8. 02.2015).

MoMA Allegories of Modernism: Contemporary Drawing February 16–May 5, 1992

The exhibition includes some 200 works by more than forty artists from the United States and Europe. It is installed in the Rene d’Harnoncourt Galleries on the Museum’s lower level, the third-floor Drawings Galleries, the Garden Hall and Projects Gallery, and throughout several of the Museum’s “public” spaces.

Many artists today are engaged in questioning the nature and the limits of drawing. Using a wide and often adventurous array of materials and techniques, they ask not only what drawing is, but what differentiates drawing from other activities. Indeed, as Bernice Rose writes in the publication accompanying the exhibition, “the formal purity of drawing is not an issue, nor is it of much concern to artists Although increasingly an independent mode, [drawing] has also become inextricably mixed with other mediums, with painting and painterly devices, with color, and with paint itself. Distinctions between painting and drawing—and printing—have become blurred…A new language of the visual arts has thus emerged in the last two decades based on an expanded field of operations for each of its disciplines…”

This “expanded field of operations” is evident in the wide array of works in the exhibition, and in the issues they raise. The relationship of art to mechanization and technology—an issue that is germane to so much art today—is raised by Nancy Spero and Christopher Wool’s rubber-stamped pieces, which inhabit the region between drawing and printmaking, and by Jonathan Borofsky’s site-specific installation, in which he uses a technique known as rotoscoping to translate drawing into video. Postmodernism’s preoccupation with the fragment, the “unfinished” artwork, is evident in both Bruce Nauman’s photocollage and Francesco Clemente’s installation of individual pastel drawings, which places the fragment into a new context. The once commonly held distinction between drawing and painting is brought into question by works on canvas by Julian Schnabel, Richard Prince, and others. The relationship of art to its surroundings is explored in room installations by Allan McCollum, Stephen Prina, Mike Kelley, and Sigmar Polke, for whom, as Rose writes in the accompanying book, “the exhibition has become a form of discourse.”

Included as well are examples of more traditional drawings, some in the form of notebooks and study drawings, by Tom Otterness, Robert Longo, Terry Winters, Martin Puryear, and others. Also exhibited are works by Martin Kippenberger, Jannis Kounellis, Sherrie Levine, Ellen Phelan, Tim Rollins + K.O.S., and Susan Rothenberg, among others.

An allegorical approach that is expressed in the contemplation of the self, the body, society, the limits of modernism, and drawing’s relation to its own past at once unites the diverse works in Allegories of Modernism and makes them paradigms of the concerns and possibilities being probed by so many artists today.

Organized by Bernice Rose, senior curator in the Museum’s Department of Drawings.

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Practice Presentation

Presentation at the beginning of the MA in Arts and Process to introduce my previous and current practice:


My work addresses philosophical questions on existence and understanding ourselves through space we inhabit with a focus on architectural elements such as doorways, tunnels, and windows. These “portals of the unknown” represent curiosity.

At the time of these works I was highly influenced by Toba Kheedooris huge wax drawings that appear to have an extra dimension to them due to the opacity of the surface, the focus on minimal elements and even the ingrained dirt from her studio floor. I like the idea that the process is visible in a layer within the work,————–11 feet x 19 feet 3 inches

Toba Khedoori, Untitled (Chain link fence) 1996, Oil and wax on paper

Continuing with the idea of dimension, I was interested in bringing my drawings of the space I wanted to describe onto a 3d plane, beginning with folding the wax paper and making maquettes. I wanted to describe a calm, quiet but eerie or uncertain space like the buildings I had experienced on a study semester in Poland. A series of corridors, Portals. Representing the inevitable uncertainty of existence.


 Passage, sculpture made from welded steel, wood, flax, waxed paper, 18 x 22 feet square length, 6ft height x 3ft width, Beyond Dialogue, CCAD degree show exhibition, June 2017 (each section pre- installation 2 x 3 x 6ft, 18 sections in total)


 Myself and five former drawing elective classmates got together to meet up and form a collective. Our idea is to as a contemporary drawing collective. We held our first site-specific live drawing performance event in October, followed by a group exhibition in CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery. We wanted to make it quite intuitive and we all responded to space individually.

My response involved drawing slowly but continuously on rolled paper with charcoal to record the passing of light through the gallery over the 7-hour performance period. I worked silently and mindfully on the floor as I felt that the space gave me a feeling of peace. The softness of the combination of the artificial light and natural light on an Autumn day made it a meditative process. I focused on describing the artificial and natural light and their interaction upon the architectural elements with the charcoal. I mapped the changing light as it penetrated the space and the resulting shadows, implementing slow, deliberate movements as I swept, rolled, and unrolled the paper and gathered my materials to change viewpoint.

The resulting drawing for the subsequent exhibition was a direct response to the passing of a day’s light in a gallery presented in a linear narrative with Minimal elements. The reason I feel this work is important as I was making the work within the space in an intuitive manner, how the space made me feel. The restriction of being unable to select and edit the drawings.

My most recent practice involves the research of historical buildings and manmade structures in Cork City.I took a picture of the old Boole house, the pigeon in the window looking out on the first floor.

The Ghost of George Boole, Acrylic on Canvas, 39 x 39 inches, 2017

DuringBoole’s time at Grenville Place he wrote his masterpiece An Investigation of the Laws of Thought, which was published in 1854 and centred around his theory of logic and probabilities. From the first floor window of this house, Boole used the prospect before him to illustrate in his book the theory of probability, while giving a flavour of his living environment. His word picture is based on his view across the river, with Boole speculating on the probability of flooding

The odd doorways and mixture of architecture in Cork are what I notice most days. Sundays Well in particular. Pastel paint colours contrasting with the murky greys These steps and doors built into huge high walls on the steep walk up the hill.

These research paintings were made most recently from books assembled on my desk and from photographs I took on a visit to the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold. Large sculpture which can be walked through and immersed in. The monument is located on the former location of the Berlin Wall, where the “death strip” once divided the city.

I am interested I continuing to explore dimensionality and the philosophy of space as experienced and site-specific work, exploring the drawing space and drawing on a large scale, interested in both narrative and dimension. I like to make work in the place between when a sculpture becomes a drawing and vice versa during my process

I have been painting lately for medical reasons, drawings are taking form in paint but I wish to work predominantly in largescale charcoal drawing, however, as I enjoy the tonal range, velvety texture and intuitive mark-making that the material can produce.



6Marks: CCAD Graduate Artists, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork 19th-25th Oct 2017

My site-specific response involved drawing slowly but continuously on rolled paper with charcoal to record the passing of light through the gallery over the performance period. Changing viewpoint in a clockwise direction every 45 minutes and recording new elements, I mapped the changing light as it penetrated the space and the resulting shadows, I implemented slow, deliberate movements as I swept, rolled, and unrolled the paper, turned, gathered my minimal materials, and set up for each drawing period.

7-hour Live Drawing Performance- Installation of Drawing and tools, 6Marks: CCAD Graduate Artists, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork 19th Oct 2017

The drawing demanded strict concentration in the centre of the gallery’s main hall as I worked uninterrupted in complete silence. I focused on describing the artificial and natural light and their interaction upon the architectural elements with the charcoal. There was no specific plan as to how the drawing would look upon completion, just rolling out more paper, repositioning, observing, and rendering a new section until the gallery closed. I needed to quiet my mind for a long period and focus on the flow between my eyes and hand during the exercise.

The resulting drawing is a direct response to the passing of a day’s light in a gallery presented in a linear narrative. Its process was based on the idea of Expandism (Pekka Hannula b.1961), which approaches art as a mental exercise involving focus on details, working with concentration, seeking unhurried moments in the middle of stressful everyday life and pursuing artistic flow.  An artwork is constructed little by little through details, it gradually expands and becomes complete.

Ciara Rodgers



Really excited about our first event as a contemporary drawing collective!

6marks live drawing performance 19th October 11am-5pm Wandesford Quay Gallery. Work from this event will be displayed on the 21st-25th with a closing ceremony on Wednesday 25th @5pm

Press Release, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork, Ireland:


CIT Wandesford Quay is proud to present 6marks, an exhibition by 6 recent graduate Cork-based artists, Enid Conway, Stephen Doyle, Chloe Tetrault, Robyn Deasy, Izabela Ciechacka and Ciara Rodgers. The exhibition runs from the 19th – 25th of October.

The exhibition is an investigation into their individual responses to a shared site-specific experience through the medium of contemporary drawing. Firstly the exhibition will consist of a Durational Live Drawing Performance spanning 7 hours over one day. Members of the public are invited to come and share the space with the artists and become part of their drawing responses. The performance will be open to the public during opening times of 11 am – 5pm on the 19th of October.

All work from this performance will be on display to the public from the 21st – 25th of October in CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery, Clarke’s Bridge, Cork City.

The Ghost of George Boole. On display in Henchy's bar, St. Lukes, Cork. Art Exhibition in aid of Anitas Orphanage Cambodia Running until 4th of November 2017.

It’s great to be involved in such a worthwhile project and the closing event even features a traditional stew tasting competition!

Taken from Anitasorphanage.com:

“Through decades of war, exploding land mines, poverty and rampant diseases such as AIDS, Cambodias orphanage population continues to grow. Anita’s Orphanage was born from the experiences of a man named Momo Akbari in 2002 who rescued an orphan from the streets and subsequently dedicated his life to the plight of orphans in Shannaukville, a town in the south of Cambodia. In 2005 Martin McHenry, a Cork based builder was travelling to Southeast Asia. Whilst visiting Cambodia he met and befriended Momo. The orphanage at that time was funded by Momos sister Anita through her business. Later that same year, Martin discovered that because of an unforeseen collapse in Anitas business, all funding for the orphanage came to an abrupt end. As a result Martin and his friend Maura Sheehan decided to take up the mantle of continuous fund raising and are now 8 years on, the sole provider of it’s monthly requirements. This could only have been achieved through the generosity of the people of Cork.”